Greetings, Church Family and Friends!
As you prepare for the Lord's Day tomorrow, meditate on these words from The Valley of Vision entitled "Calvary's Anthem":
Thou has led me singing to the cross where I fling down all my burdens and see them vanish, where my mountains of guilt are levelled to a plain,
where my sins disappear, though they are the greatest that exist, and are more in number than the grains of fine sand;
For there is power in the blood of Calvary to destroy sins more than can be counted even by one from the choir of heaven.
Thou hast given me a hill-side spring that washes clear and white, and I go as a sinner to its waters, bathing without hindrance in its crystal streams.
At the cross there is free forgiveness for poor and meek ones, and ample blessings that last forever;
The blood of the Lamb is like a great river of infinite grace with never any diminishing of its fullness as thirsty ones without number drink of it.
O Lord, forever will thy free forgiveness live that was gained on the mount of blood;
In the midst of a world of pain it is a subject for praise in every place, a song on earth, an anthem in heaven, its love and virtue knowing no end.
I have a longing for the world above where multitudes sing the great song, for my soul was never created to love the dust of earth.
Though here my spiritual state is frail and poor, I shall go on singing Calvary's anthem.
May I always know that a clean heart full of goodness is more beautiful than the lily,
that only a clean heart can sing by night and by day, that such a heart is mine when I abide at Calvary."
THE LORD'S DAY (10/15):
ICYMI: Last Sunday's sermon audio Acts 2:14-24 "This is That: The Prophecy of Pentecost, Part One"
Other previous messages are archived here . Please visit our YouTube Channel to see the edited service video.
FIGHTER VERSE: Our Fighter Verse this week is Matthew 6:19-21
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.'
READ THROUGH THE BIBLE The Five-Day Bible Reading Plan is attached to this e-mail for your convenience. You may want to access additional resources to support your reading available at this website.
DIRECTORY PICTURES: Thanks to everyone who had pictures taken for our directory over the past two Sundays. We had about 35 family units photographed with 15-20 currently attending family units left to go. We will be contacting those families for a "retake" session with Lindsay Jestes. Anyone who is not able to be present for that session (day and time TBA) will be welcome to submit photos of their own for the directory.
Man Knows Not His Time: Sarah Young, author of the best selling book "Jesus Calling," passed away several weeks ago on August 31 at age 77. She and her husband were missionaries with the Presbyterian Church in America, the conservative Bible-believing Presbyterians. She received a degree from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, known for its conservative Bible theology. That's what makes it so hard to understand how she went into the area of mystical writing. Her original 2004 version of "Jesus Calling" spawned a whole host of other editions like "Jesus Calling for Kids", "Jesus Calling for Students," etc. It was a book of mystical writings which the author penned as though spoken to her by Jesus. She was deeply influenced by a similar book from the 1930s entitled "God Calling." In "God Calling" the two anonymous "Listeners" to which authorship is ascribed, claimed to hear messages from God and to write them down through "automatic writing," a technique by which the writer sometimes closes his or her eyes and allows the pen to move and write freely on the page, seemingly beyond the control of the one holding it. This practice is occultic at its foundation. Early editions of "Jesus Calling" acknowledged Young's indebtedness to "God Calling," although later editions took out that acknowledgement, likely because of the many of the obvious problems with "God Calling."
The main problem with Young's books (and "God Calling" as well) is that they undermine the sufficiency of Scripture and lead the reader to believe that "something more" is available through these extra-biblical mystical writings which claim to come from the very mouth of Jesus. If you have read these books and feel you have benefited from them, you are not alone. And you do not need to think badly of yourself for having done so. These books were marketed by a Christian publisher through Christian bookstores as Christian literature. You had every reason to believe that these were Christian books. Sarah Young was a professing Christian. I certainly hope that she is with the Lord and that she has been duly corrected and chastened from the error she espoused through "Jesus Calling." But more importantly, I urge you to mark and avoid these writings and any others which cast doubt on the total sufficiency of the Bible for faith, doctrine, life, growth in holiness, and every other area to which it speaks.
Here is a video from Tim Challies entitled The 5 Most Ridiculous Books to Ever Become Christian Best Sellers, and at the 8:14 time stamp he begins to talk about "Jesus Calling." The rest of the video is worthwhile, including critiques of The Prayer of Jabez (Bruce Wilkinson; this was considered obligatory reading for pastors/preachers in the early 2000s, and from which I preached a sermon series back then; I have since repented of it!); The Circle Maker (Mark Batterson); Your Best Life Now (Joel Osteen); various "heaven tourism" books (e.g. Heaven Is For Real) round out the list before he gets to Jesus Calling. Left off this list are other best-selling books which are labeled as "Christian" but whose messages are sub-Christian at best and anti-Christian at worst. If you have questions about a Christian book, I'd be happy to visit with you to help discern whether the message of it is truly compatible with the Bible or if it runs counter to Bible teaching.
See you in church!
Grace & Peace,
Pastor Greg Dixon